On June 30th, the SC Drought Response Committee/SCDNR upgraded the drought status of Oconee and adjacent counties to “EXTREME“, the highest and most severe category.
Irrigation use customers while not yet completely restricted by SC State mandate must bring their use within acceptable levels during this current drought status. SWD is certain that positive measures NOW will greatly reduce the real possibility of elimination or revocation of irrigation privileges. Historical data regarding irrigation use reveals that MOST irrigation systems DO NOT operate efficiently or effectively, and in most cases the homeowner/customer is unaware if serious problems or wasteful practices exist within their system.
SWD’s initial focus is to assist in understanding the potential problems that may exists within your system that contribute to unnecessary waste of water and increased expense to you.
To simultaneously protect your irrigation privilege, conserve water, and reduce irrigation costs please consider the following suggestions immediately:
- Assure that your system has been properly designed and correctly installed to produce the most efficient and effective operation possible. Have your irrigation professional perform an irrigation audit? to detect leaks, uneven watering, misaligned or obstructed heads, clogged nozzles, incorrect zone cycle times, over watering, runoff, etc.
- Assure that your system has been properly set to operate no more than twice weekly. If your address is an odd number, set your system to operate on Monday and Thursday. If your address is even numbered, set your system to operate on Tuesday and Friday. Twice a week watering is an industry recognized standard.
- Assure that your system operates only between the hours of 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM. Watering during wind or heat of day can waste 30-40% of water to evaporation.
- Avoid lengthy zone cycle times. Instead of a twenty minute cycles, reprogram your controller to provide for four five-minute sessions to allow soak-in, avoiding runoff.
- Check your zone delivery pressure. Most systems require very moderate pressures to operate efficiently. Each 5 psi of excess pressure results in approximately 6-8% additional wasted water.
- Have your irrigation professional provide you with the estimated water usage for a complete single irrigation cycle for your particular system. For a billing cycle, compare your total estimated use to the billed use for that period. Call our office any time for information helpful to track billing cycles and recorded usage.
The above checklist is provided to our irrigation customers as a beginning in basic ways and means of tightening your irrigation system to conserve water through efficient and cost saving operation.
Your professional irrigation contractor and a variety of information found on the Internet can provide additional helpful suggestions and solutions to your irrigation challenges.
Ignoring wasteful and inefficient use of irrigation systems can no longer be acceptable. Only with your concern and involvement can reduction and conservation be achieved. NOW is the time. Please call us with your questions.
Thank you for your cooperation and prompt attention to this sensitive issue.
SALEM WATER DEPARTMENT